Agnolo bronzino – ‘madonna col bambino e Santiago, 1540 ca.

Let the little children come to me, 
and do not hinder them, 
for the kingdom of heaven 
belongs to such as these
~ Mark 10:14


I’m sure we can all remember this. We were small children, we were playing in the courtyard near our house with our little friends. Maybe running after a ball. Then, pushed by a rough little boy, we fell and hurt our knee on the ground. It was painful. We got confused and a rush of pain and sadness overwhelmed us. We froze for a second, and then what? Then we ran to the house to find our dear mother. Our mother’s love is always here, at hand, available, so we cried and complained for a while, and something magic happened. In our mother’s lap we were gradually consoled and reassured until our sadness and pain gently melted and disappeared in no time. Why was I hurt in the first place? It’s such a tiny little wound! So we rushed back to our playground, eager to continue our game and be with our little friends again.

We enjoy ourself. We feel so happy to be part of the little group and we scream and run around and laugh with an immense pleasure. But a grain of sand came to damage this idyllic time of intense happiness. A little friend, himself having been hurt by a push that was a little too hard, said the infamous words. ‘You are stupid!’. He said that I was stupid! Again we froze, and were overwhelmed by a rush of pain and anger. It felt so very hurting and unfair. We felt we wanted to cry. So once again we ran to our mother’s lap, sobbing and telling the whole story. Our mother’s love and compassion is again without limit, and she found the words. Her voice felt like a rejuvenating fountain and in no time, drying our wet face with our hands, we were ready to leave again and share another blissful game…

Have you noticed this going back and forth of the child, searching for his mother’s love? Is it not something we can learn from? I feel I have some fear inside and it creates a heaviness in my chest. Can I not be just as wise as the little boy I once was and run to the place of love and expansion in myself, consciousness? Instead of letting it pass to be covered again by the next feeling, the next upset. Why being so lazy? No trace of laziness in that early age, where we would run again and again to tap in that beautiful maternal energy. Sometimes there would not even be a particular reason. We would just, out of a slight boredom, or because we have nothing better to do, hang out in our mother’s lap and presence, for the sheer pleasure of it, the peace we feel there.

So let’s be like these little children, running back and forth, bathing as often as possible in what is always here, precious, loving, generous though unconcerned, unfathomable yet warm and precise as an embrace can be. Let’s make complete and shameless use of our mother, that eternal being who stands always by our side, just behind every experience, every hurt, every discomfort. Does the little girl has to make an effort to remember her mother? No, at the slight bother, she would run almost in a reflex towards the source of her wellbeing. Only in happiness and complete sense of oneness does the child allow herself to forget her beloved mother’s presence.

And do you think our mother minds about what we bring to her? Just remember as a child, how many times you came back home with something dirty, ugly, and how trustful you were in your mother’s welcome. With what constant love and happiness she would accept your weirdest and most distasteful present. There is nothing, nothing that the loving presence behind you would not welcome and embrace unconditionally. What more do we want than this absolute love at hand? And why on earth do we keep all our mean and dirty spots, all our darkest feelings to ourselves? There is a presence here that will again and again, soften and dissolve everything that we genuinely bring to her. So let’s be as open as we once were, let’s give everything to our always present beloved mother. It would be a real shame to stay away.



Text by Alain Joly

Painting by Agnolo Bronzino (1503-1572)



Agnolo Bronzino (Wikipedia)

Suggestions :
The Fruitless Search
Promenade Parisienne


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